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How Do YOU Handle Breaths
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 

How Do YOU Handle Breaths

I started this topic as a general survey;

I’m curious to everyone’s approach treating breaths in hip-hop vocal tracks.

Are you:
Leaving then as recorded (unless specifically problematic)
Editing them out entirely?
Reducing their volume?
Something else?

PS: I have seen this question come up in pre 2010 posts, but hiphop has changed a lot since then then so I’m curious if the techniques or approach has too.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Luc Cougar View Post
I started this topic as a general survey;

I’m curious to everyone’s approach treating breaths in hip-hop vocal tracks.

Are you:
Leaving then as recorded (unless specifically problematic)
Editing them out entirely?
Reducing their volume?
Something else?

PS: I have seen this question come up in pre 2010 posts, but hiphop has changed a lot since then then so I’m curious if the techniques or approach has too.
I never think about breaths unless they sound really unnatural. It's very rare, but when it needs addressed, I just reduce the volume. In hip hop it's extremely rare that I remove any.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 

I went with a rapper friend to a low budget studio.
He automatically started deleting the breaths.
I asked him to leave them in. He grew to like working with us, because we're not point and click clients.
Human vocals sound bizarre without breaths, imo.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 

For me, it depends on the performance, context and (especially) processing. Depending on how the vocal has been treated, the breaths can become unnaturally exaggerated so I find myself turning down or cutting out any of the ones that are offensive. I typically leave that to the final stages of the mix. Having said that, I'm not always after a "natural" sound anyways...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
It all depends on the song and the artist. But my kind of default position is in verses to just take out the breath right before the verse starts and leave all the others unless there’s a long pause or something. If the artist is particularly loud on the breaths, I’ll turn them down. If a breath needs to be deleted, then I’ll delete it. I just go by feel. But being overly aggressive with breaths can really rob the emotion from a record. With choruses that have stacks (sung or rapped) I’m more aggressive because it can all add up across tracks.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Automate the breathes that very loud. I typically keep all my breathes at a certain level but I always leave the breathes in.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Lunar Attic's Avatar
Breaths tend to become very noticeable once a vocal is heavily compressed -what we like to do in rap right?. I leave them in on the lead vox, they are a powerful part of the general perceived intensity or expression in a vocal. But I clip gain them down to a level where I think they need to be to work.

I do this by hand and not with a de-breath plugin, the exact level of a breath is an artistic decision made on a per case basis.

On doubles and back-ups I just cut them out altogether. One breath is enough. Much like S's, T's and other obnoxious consonants that quickly become a pain in the butt when they're stacked three-, four-, fivefold.

(If you're really lucky you may find yourself working with a vocalist who knows how to leave out S's, T's, P's and B's in their performance when doing harmony vocals, doubles or back-ups.)


T
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

I usually cut them all and clip gain about 14db. With the heavy compression happening after they come back up at a nice natural level but not overpowering. It creates a lot of space in the track for FX
You can also fade in every breath, works for me.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Farmboy presents's Avatar
i often take most of them out. all out is unnatural imo. but as soon as i start processing a vocal they become a problem. compressed and delayed and reverbed breaths and mouth clicks can be just wrong. imo.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Sometimes breaths will add to a performance and sometimes they can get in the way of a performance. They way i handle them is after everything is mixed and i will critically listen to the mix to see what or if anything takes away from the instruments including guitar hand noise to breaths. If i feel anything gets in the way, ill take it out.

I find breaths can make a vocal track sound more natural, just like the hand noises of going up and down a guitar neck, so unless it really intrusive, ill leave them be.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Rick Dalton's Avatar
I'll probably come of sounding like, Sammy Hagar (I got to sing for VH)
But NOT! I did have one of the best vocal/piano player/music teachers take every lived. Mr's Selby, (Dona). She taught how to sing from your diaphragm, as its contraction increases the volume of the thorax and so inflates the lungs. One can train themselves, but you'd really should seek a trainer. Singing this way, you control your breathing, and can get out a lot more lyrics before needing to take a breath and on the same hand, you are never out of breath. Look into it and find a trainer.

I don't want to toot my own horn, but having her as a teacher/trainer got me chosen as 1 of 50 nation wide to tour Europe, 3 years back to back. This was in the 70's.

She lost her son, Mark (R.I.P) a couple years ago. a school mate of mine. He was also trained by her, Being his Mother. Here's some of his credits and album title's that one should listen to. once you do, you're hooked.
https://www.allmusic.com/album/dirt-mw0000592485
https://theboot.com/mark-selby-dead-dies/

Also in the video on theboot link, You'll notice how long of a lyrics Mark can sing before taking a breath, if you can even catch that.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Charlie-O's Avatar
 

Same as many have posted. I almost always separate the breaths from the wave, and use clip gain to reduce the overall volume. Compression will bring the overall level of the breaths up, so I find it necessary to bring them down pre-compression.

Peace.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Here for the gear
 

I leave them as they are 100% of the time. Everybody can do what they want but I think that breathing is part of your rapping and you should be able to do it the way that it can be left like that. There has been time a friend of mine suggested that we take one big breathe away from his verse. I told him to rap it again and he did so for so long that he could make the breathe sound good.

But that is just my approach.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

you are right, but some people just have really loud breath sounds, it clutters the track.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Fanu's Avatar
I don't have a preference: if they sound natural and non-intrusive, I don't mind.
Then again, I've done some jobs where I'm asked to remove all breaths myself where it's been super loud, so I get it.
I don't go and point it out to the producer that they should be removed even if I felt they're a bit much...that is up to him.
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